ACPS dealing with bus driver shortage ahead of stage 4 return

Albemarle County Public Schools is moving to stage 4 in just a few weeks, which means more students will be taking the bus to school once again.
Updated: Feb. 18, 2021 at 10:02 AM EST
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

ALBEMARLE COUNTY, Va. (WVIR) -Albemarle County Public Schools (ACPS) is moving to stage 4 in just a few weeks, which means more students will be taking the bus to school once again.

Stage 4 means prekindergarten-to-3rd graders will be in school four days a week, while older students will be in classrooms for two days. Although down a total of 17 school bus drivers, the county says it is prepared to get your kids to school safely.

“Due to some creative routing and scheduling we were able to avoid any major impacts for this coming stage four,” ACPS Director of Transportation Jim Foley said.

So while the county says it’s prepared for the return to school on March 15, moving to the 5th and final stage - a full return to classrooms - with its current driver deficit there would be a disruption.

“The schedule would be disruptive to schools and parents, because we’d have to have multiple start times at different schools. So, we would have for example at an elementary school the first bell being 7:30 a.m., and the next one being nine,” Foley said.

To avoid commotion, ACPS is taking action.

“We’re taking applications. We offer competitive pay, which is going to go up even more next year. Anyone that drives a school bus is a regular employee, not a [substitute], receives full time benefits,” Foley said. “We’re doing a lot of advertising, mostly radio advertising. We also have reached out to every retiree.”

As for safety, ACPS says it disinfects buses between routes and every student will sit alone unless traveling with a relative.

“Every student has to wear a mask when they get on, we have sanitizer we ask them to use,” Foley said.

Foley says the job also offers a lot of flexibility in hours and allows you to bring your kids or grandkids along with you, if the need arises. To apply, you can click here.

Copyright 2021 WVIR. All rights reserved.